The 2021 EUA Annual Conference took place online on 22-23 April 2021. The topic of the event was "Universities 2030: From vision to reality" and provided the much-needed debate about the path universities must take to remain resilient and relevant in time of ongoing climate crisis, fundamental technological advances, labour market changes and the pressure Europe's political systems are currently experiencing.
Over 350 participants attended the conference virtually including politicians, rectors and university leadership, students, policy makers and other stakeholders in higher education, research and innovation
European Council President Charles Michel greeted the organizers and participants of the event with a video message and emphasized the role universities play in building a competitive and sustainable Europe, in collaboration with global partners
Among the main panelists at the conference were Michel Murphy – EUA President; Pam Fredman – International Association of Universities' President; Amanda Crowfoot – EUA Secretary General; Georgi Dimitrov – Acting Head of Unit "Digital Education", European Commission and others.
The management of MU - Varna was represented during the conference by the team of the Department of International Relations.
The EUA Annual Conference for 2021 highlighted and provided a forum for discussions on how European universities are open learning communities engaged in the creation of a sustainable global society, as well as autonomous and accountable entities striving for continuous improvement. The "Universities without walls – A vision for 2030" initiative represents a transformation of higher education through the protection of academic freedom and institutional autonomy, the role of higher education in strengthening democratic values and civic engagement, and addressing social challenges.
Other topics discussed at the conference included hybrid campuses and their role after Covid-19; Universities as places for culture: the role of universities as open forums for cultural debates; Collaboration with non-academic partners is an essential means to fulfill the various university missions; Nurturing global partnerships through education and research. The impact of universities in promoting global dialogue on culture, democracy and the development of society was examined and discussed in detail. The role of universities for the interdisciplinary training of students and future professionals, for their development as individuals and responsible people has been repeatedly emphasized.
The European University Association (EUA) is the representative organisation of 850 universities and national rectors' conferences in 48 European countries. EUA plays a crucial role in the Bologna Process and in influencing EU policies on higher education, research and innovation. Medical University - Varna is a full member of EUA since 2006.